NSW nearshore wave buoy parameter time series data (active deployments)

In-situ ocean wave measurements have been collected at nearshore locations along the NSW coast. Wave data are collected by Sofar Spotter wave buoys ( that are deployed by NSW DPIE scientists in shallow coastal waters (10-30 m depths) adjacent to beaches or rocky shores. The buoys are tethered to moorings at deployment locations and float on the water surface, measuring the height, period and direction of passing waves by tracking the motion of the buoy through time using GPS. The deployments are temporary, and the duration of each wave buoy deployment varies with operational needs but is usually around 12 months. The deployment locations are chosen to support scientific research carried by NSW DPIE and partners on coastal dynamics along the NSW coastline and to develop nearshore wave modelling tools and data. The research and tools support the development of Coastal Management Programs (CMPs) under the Coastal Management Act (2016).

The real-time wave data from live buoy deployments includes time-series charts of key parameters describing wave height, period and direction over a rolling seven-day window. The parameters are derived on board the buoy using wave spectra analysis and include significant wave height (Hm0), mean wave period (Tm01), peak wave period (TP), mean wave direction (DirM) and peak wave direction (DirP). Wind speed and direction estimated from the measured wave spectra are also provided. Parameters are plotted at half-hour intervals in local time - Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) or Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) - and the data time series are updated once every hour as new data points are received. The data are received directly from deployed wave buoy instruments via satellite transmission and are not quality assessed or controlled in any way. Various factors may cause erroneous data points and users are advised to exercise caution when using the data. The data are provided for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon for coastal hazard advice or to guide operational activities.

Wave buoy equipment and deployments have been primarily funded by NSW DPIE with equipment grant contributions from the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer’s Research Attraction and Acceleration Program (RAAP) awarded to the NSW Node of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) and administered by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS).

For more information on the NSW Nearshore Waves program please visit:

Data and Resources

  • Data Quality StatementPDF

    Data quality statement for NSW nearshore wave buoy parameter time series data...

  • Show on SEED Web MapSEED

    Display dataset on SEED's map

  • WebsiteURL

    For more information on the NSW Nearshore Waves program

Metadata Summary What is metadata?

Field Value
Data Type Non-geospatial
Metadata Date 12/02/2021
Date Created 12/02/2021
Date Published 17/02/2021
Edition 1
Purpose Coastal Hazard Management
License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Update Frequency Data is repeatedly and frequently updated
Keywords OCEANOGRAPHY-Physical,MARINE-Coasts
Field of Research 0405
Geospatial Topic Environment
Language English
Temporal Coverage From 12/02/2021
Datum GDA94 Geographic (Lat\Long)
Landing page
Legal Disclaimer Read
Attribution Department of Planning, Industry and Environment asserts the right to be attributed as author of the original material in the following manner: "© State Government of NSW and Department of Planning, Industry and Environment 2021"